A Happy Meal

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He’s a good hand model, don’t you think?

On the fast food school of thought, there  are two extreme categories of moms :

  1. The moms that only feed their kids organic food and look down on other moms for not doing the same.
  2. The moms that feed their kids fast food very often whether it be by choice or because that’s all that they can afford, such as my childhood.

Then within those two extremes are what I like to call “the norms”:

  • Those that feed their kids organic foods but don’t give a crap what you feed your kids.
  • Those that try their best to just feed their kids healthily, whether it be organic or just regular home cooked meals, but every once it a while they see no harm in getting their kids a happy meal.
  • The moms that are the same as the last one listed but rather than being okay with it, they feel a bit of shame when they buy their kids fast food.

I’m guessing that the majority us fall into the latter because we know that in this day & age it’s considered a bit of a mommy faux pas amongst the masses. As mothers, we’re shamed for absolutely everything. Public breastfeeding, not breastfeeding, dressing too frumpy, dressing too scantily “for a mom”, not wearing enough make up, wearing too much make up “for a mom”, staying at home, working full-time  and having to use daycare, drug free birth, drug assisted birth, being too skinny, not being skinny enough…  And towards the top of the list WHAT WE FEED OUR KIDS.

In 2016 there’s both a hunger for convenience as well as education. We’re now the most aware we’ve ever been of what’s being put into our foods and we’re not happy about it. We try to protect our children the best that we can… But that DOES NOT make us bad mothers if we decide to go to a drive through and give our kids a happy meal every once in a while.

Fast food chains have been given a terrible name but the truth of the matter is, the choice of whether or not to eat it is pretty much ALWAYS THERE. No one is forcing you to go, wait in line, order, pay for your food and eat it.

When we went through the McDonald’s drive through and bought our daughter her first Happy Meal recently, I felt a tinge of guilt for buying her all the greasy goodness in a small box… Oh that deep rooted mommy guilt, you get me every time. My husband, however, did not feel the same way. He reminded me that we both have our own history with fast food, for him particularly McDonald’s.

My husband East is a humble man. He’s worked extremely hard to get to where he is today and it definitely wasn’t always easy. When he first arrived in California from Singapore 12 years ago, he had $300 dollars in his pocket and a backpack full of clothes. Through his quest to become a better tattoo artist, there were a lot of days that there just wasn’t a lot of, if any money left over after buying supplies he needed for work and paying for his hostel. He’d be left with close to nothing but if he had $3 to his name he knew he could go to McDonald’s and order 3 chicken sandwiches (off of the then dollar menu) and go to bed that night with a full belly. For him, looking back on that, he’ll always be forever grateful to McDonalds. The place that so many choose to very openly hate.

For me, as I mentioned before, my family grew up struggling so most of my meals as a kid were comprised of either: Dinty Moore beef stew, frozen lima beans heated up in a bowl, or fast food. I’m grateful I had the last option in those days because stew gets real old, I’ll tell you. But now just having the choice of ordering fast food as an occasion as opposed to a means to live, is a luxury in my mind. It’s an accomplishment to me that it’s no longer a necessity and a reminder of how far I’ve come. And that is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of.

I remembered seeing this eye opening post written by a former McDonald’s employee a few months ago that I HIGHLY recommend everyone take a moment to read. It too, made me feel better about no longer shaming myself for simply living my life and feeding my child a damn happy meal with a cute little toy in the box.

I’m not here to advocate for Mickey D’s or even for fast food chains in general. I am here however to advocate for YOU mama. I’m here to remind you again that your choices are your choices alone and life is all about finding a balance. Screw what society accepts or doesn’t accept about you as a mother, you’re doing just fine. I’m writing this post because it started off as a joke between my husband & I. I wouldn’t normally admit to more than the nice little homemade fresh fruit smoothies I make every other day for my daughter, but if anyone’s going to speak openly about the mommy faux pas, it’s certainly going to be me. We have to start giving each other and ourselves a break. We’re working too hard and stressing too much not to.

Chill mama, you’re doing an awesome job.

xo Alyssa’s Roses

All Black Everything.

 

outfit details below

 

The act of women taking selfies is inherently feminist, specially in a society that tries so hard to tell women that our bodies are projects to be worked on and a society that profits off of the insecurities that it perpetuates. Selfies are like a ‘eff you’ to all of that. Selfies open up deep issues about who controls the image of women –

Lindsey Bottos, Peggy Phelan


Bag: Givenchy Antigona in Goatskin Leather, Black. – I love this bag. I can’t stress enough how important it is when you’re a mama to chose the textured look as opposed to smooth with every and any bag that you purchase. Unless you plan on only breaking out that bad boy out once a year for a special occasion, always go with textured leather. You will thank me for this.

Pants: Rag & Bone Plush Legging Jeans, Black – The most comfortable ‘jeggings’ you could own. Stretches out slightly throughout the day but overall maintains a very nice fit. Rag & Bone has my heart.

Shirt: Zara sweater, Black.

Shoes: Converse by John Varvatos Double Zip All Stars, Black. – These shoes are so damn comfortable. Normally towards the end of the day after wearing converse, my feet are in agony. But these…are…the only exception (cue Hailey Williams), they fit like a glove.

Coffee: Coffee Bean… Because screw you Starbucks. Your coffee tastes like burning.

Nike clothing in the corner: Oh that’s just my Nike obsession, nothing to see here. I can be found in the fitting room trying on new workout clothes at least once a week.

xo alyssasroses

A Few Of My Favorite Little Things 

  
1. Personalized stamped cuff bracelets by GageHuntley.com – these are awesome, you can get anything that your little heart desires! Mine says my daughter’s name… But I’m tempted to buy 50 more with different stamps, specially now that she’s got skinny cuffs!

2. Cape Cod Bracelets – Not normally available online but not something I hardly ever take off, partially due to who gave them to me (my late grandma and my best friend) and also partially due to hometown pride. You can spot another Cape Cod girl a mile away if she’s wearing one of these bad Larries.

3. Passion Planner – Helping out procrastinating hearts seeking organization since 2013. They’re well worth a check out here.

Valentine’s Day

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Bag: Céline Sac Trio in Black

Although we think Valentine’s Day is a silly holiday, we still celebrate it a little. We figure any holiday that reminds you to stop and appreciate your loved ones a little more can’t be that bad, no matter how commercialized it is.

So Happy Valentine’s Day to the loves of my life. You guys are my everything.

xo

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My loves

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My present from Mia

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MiaRose’s presents from Daddy

 

Mini me

It’s hard to imagine that I ever lived a life without you. 

You’re so much wiser than I could ever hope to be… 
Just a little ball of wisdom running around, teaching me not to take life too seriously. I’m in awe of your fearlessness. 

I love you with everything that I am baby girl xo  

 

10 Things That LA Newbies Don’t Know (and no one’s telling you)

Hollywood Blvd is best looked at through a blurry lens

I’ve called southern California my home for over 5 years now as well as birthed a child here, so I think I’ve earned the right to call myself a veteran resident. Practically everything I know about this city, I’ve learned the hard way. So for all you LA newbies I’ve compiled a list in hopes that you don’t have to makes the same mistakes that I had as a wide eyed hopeful. These are the things that long time residents of LA know but are keeping mum about:

1. Hollywood Boulevard is disgusting and should be avoided at all costs. Unless of course you’re a celebrity attending the Academy Awards or a movie premiere at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre… Other than that, one trip to the Boulevard is enough trips to figure out you should probably never go back. Unlike what you see on TV, there are no high end shops or even a single decent restaurant located between the cross streets of Ivar & La Brea Ave. There are however plenty of stripper accessory stores (I didn’t even know there were so many strippers living in LA), an ancient Ripley’s Believe it or Not that holds a record of the thickest layer of dust sitting atop old exhibits, innumerable terrible Hollywood tours, and very entitled homeless. Which brings me to my next point…

2. If you absolutely need to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame DO NOT LAY DOWN ON THE STARS. I don’t give an ish about how much of a free spirit you are with your Coachella knit top, or how much you just love Michael Jackson (who by the way has 2 stars but 1 is for a radio personality, and a lot of people visit the wrong one), I’ve literally observed a man pull down his pants and take a poo on the walk of fame because a restaurant wouldn’t let him use their bathroom. And he wasn’t even homeless. You don’t even want to know what homeless people do on these 5 pointed life achievement awards. If you’re okay with never feeling fully 100% clean again, by all means put your face on the ground, otherwise your best bet is doing a quick squat, take a normal photo, and be on your way. It doesn’t mean you love MJ any less. In fact I think you’re honoring him more by respecting the LA resident code of decent human sanitation. Also, not to mention that it never ever rains out here so what gets put on the walk of fame, stays festering on the walk of fame. Side note: If you happen to see an older gentleman missing the bottom half of is legs and scooting from star to star with a bucket, shoot a quick “thank  you!” He’s been cleaning the stars for free on his own volition for years and it makes me sad how quickly his hard work gets trashed . 

3. You’re not cool if you jaywalk. In fact, you’re an idiot that will most likely end up paying a hefty $300 fine. This isn’t a joke, it happened to a friend of mine. Also, as a newbie in LA it makes you stick out like a sore thumb. This isn’t New York or Boston, where people just cross when and wherever they feel is right with the risk of an oh-so-serious $1 fine.

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LA National Forest waterfall and an LA newb

4. Read every. single. parking. sign. in the area that you’ve parked and do it religiously like your life depends on it. If there’s a meter, check it 3 effing times. Take a picture of the parking signs anywhere near your car and NEVER be even a minute late to refill the meter. Take a picture of how far away you are from the red do not park line until you learn exactly how far away you need to be to avoid a ticket. Meter maids are not the pleasant people mentioned in Beatles songs here, they’re determined employees being pushed to meet their quotas & make the city as much money as possible by giving you a minimum ticket of $68 for any parking slip ups you may make. Take it from someone who racked up countless dollars in parking tickets within the first year of living here (by the way they double and then triple in price if not paid within a short period of time, a fact in which I was NOT aware of). And never ever ever trust a friend that tells you “Oh, it’s totally cool to park here”… What are you 5 years old? You just listen to what people tell you to do without checking it out yourself? Don’t be stupid. If your friend is wrong and earns you a ticket, guess who has to pay it? You do. And unless they’re a really down friend, they’re not going to pay it because even though they act like money, they’re probably just as broke as you are. They do not give a damn because that ticket is in YOUR name.

5. Celebrity sightings are a dime a dozen. Don’t get too caught up in the hype of trying to catch a selfie with the lead jerk from a reality tv show JUST because it’s the first “celebrity” sighting you’ve made since you landed here *cough guilty cough*. After a while, you start to realize that LA is a sort of safe haven for most celebrities to still be able to do a few normal every day things whilst just simply wearing a baseball cap to get away with it. It’s much cooler to just treat them like everyone else and let them get on with their day. You start viewing them as normal people because that’s what they are, just with a butt load of money. If I can lock eyes with Drew Barrymore (I mean come on, she’s so effing cool) inside a hole in the wall ramen joint in Little Tokyo without losing my cool, anyone can. Although looking back I have absolutely zero regrets about freaking out and taking a picture with Dan Aykroyd or Nestor Carbonell (Richard Aplert from LOST) in my early LA days. So I guess revising my original rule, enjoy the newness of celebrity sightings when the celebrity is worth it. Eventually that newness will wear off and you’ll come to just be grateful that no celebrities are shooting a new movie near the route you take to get to and from work everyday.

6. Venice Beach is best left explored during the day time and with a good friend. The place is like a twilight zone as it is, but you definitely don’t want to be caught there after sunset. It’s scary.

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one of the first pictures I took when I moved here, back when heavy filters and thick frames were standard.

7. 50% of the things people say to you will NOT be genuine. This number is higher if you’re an aspiring actor/model/singer/performer. This may either be the result of a bad intention or just flat out fakeness followed by a trash talk session within 5 minutes of you walking away. Trust me, practically no one is as nice as they appear to be out here… But DO NOT let that deter you from all the abundance that LA has to offer. Eventually you learn how to trust your gut and you also learn how to see through others intentions. The amount of time that wisdom takes to accrue is shorter for some than others. As you build a good core group of people surrounding you and a solid strength in who you are, that 50% decreases and less & less people are flat out lying to your face… Because your vibe attracts your tribe. If you allow it to, LA makes you tougher, stronger, and wiser. As cliche as the saying is, it holds true: The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. No matter where you come from, we all show up wide eyed and naïve in one way or another. At times it will feel like this city is trying it’s very best to break you when in fact this city continues to stay the same. You can let it define you, or you can define it. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

8. Always choose the apartment with parking. I don’t care if that means getting a smaller apartment just to get a space, the amount of time and money you save avoiding tickets and looking for a spot to park your car late at night after work, is invaluable. Not to mention, having to park 6 blocks away just to wake up at 7 am the next morning to move your car for “street cleaning” (I put this in quotes because the number of times I’ve actually seen a street sweeper is TWO) and yet again be unable to find a spot because everyone else is also having to move their cars while half awake, is literal hell.

9. Get renters insurance and up your car insurance policy. Just do this and don’t even question it. I don’t care if your landlord requires it or not, renters insurance is cheap and so worth it. I can’t stress this point enough. Same for upping your car insurance… So so  worth it, for so many reasons. Aw you think this is a boring bit of advice? You won’t when you get hit by a driver with no insurance or your apartment gets broken into and everything you schlepped to LA is now sitting in someone else’s house or being pawned… These things happen every single hour in LA, don’t be the idiot that didn’t take my advice and is crying about it on the curbside. 

10. THREE years is the breaking point in which you can fairly decide whether or not you belong here. This city is certainly not for everyone. At times I’ve absolutely felt like it wasn’t for me… But then I remember that where I come from nothing was handed to me, so why should I expect that to be the case in LA? This city doesn’t owe you or me a goddamn thing. What you want from it, you need to work hard for. Culture shock and a sense of failure are the two top reasons that people don’t last here… But do you want to know who stays? Successful people who have gone through numerous failures. They stay. Driven people. They stay too. People who see the abundance that this city has to offer and decide that they favor that over the draw of home or the loneliness LA holds within it. If you’ve only given Los Angeles six months to a year to decide whether or not you belong, guess what honey, you never did. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. Eventually being able to comfortably call LA your home is a right that is earned because you fought hard to get that feeling of ownership in this city of Angels.

 

Chime in guys. I’d love to hear what you Angelenos consider the things you wish you knew from the beginning? Comment below.

xo AlyssasRoses

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Mommy Night Out and ‘Me’ Time

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Christian Louboutin heels

 

For my Birthday I decided to call, okay let’s be honest, text my homegirls and invite them to a girls night out. I was toying with the idea for a while but didn’t commit to actually making plans until about a week before. I was going through what a lot of moms go through when they try to make plans without their little bundles of joy, guilt. I felt guilty for wanting to have a night out without diaper changes, temper tantrums and meal refusals. I didn’t want to dump the baby on my husband on one of his only nights off, just so that I could go out & get tipsy and then emotional about turning a year older in a city that worships the young. But I realized that feeling guilty about leaving OUR baby with her daddy that worships the ground that she runs on, is just silly. He’d yuck up their daddy-daughter time and I’d have a moment to catch up with friends and my sanity. So a couple nights before the ol’ Bday, out we went to enjoy the terrible service, strong cocktails, and amazing deserts that West Hollywood has to offer…

 

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I swear, we DO really all like each other regardless of the forced smiles on our faces… If I posted any of the other pictures though, they would fucking kill me

 

The next morning I woke up with a stomachache and a slight hangover, but more importantly a grateful heart. Grateful to have badass ladies in my life willing to take the time off to spend a night with a mama they don’t get to see very often these days. Grateful to catch up and laugh until my belly hurt. Grateful that my friends don’t mind me gushing over my daughter and shoving pictures of her in their face all night one bit. Grateful to have such a beautiful little girl who looks at mommy like she’s the moon, even when waking up in hangover hell with last night’s smoky eye smeared all over my face. Grateful to have a husband that supports his wife in whatever makes her happy, whether that’s woooooing it up with her ladies every once in a while or heading off to sneak a silent hike up Runyon Canyon for the solitude.

Although I know that as a mom, wanting a little ‘me’ time isn’t selfish at all, honestly, I don’t really realize it. I’m slowly but surely becoming okay with it. If I feed my own soul with time for myself, everyone benefits. But sometimes it’s hard to remember that, no matter how many times my husband reminds me to do so.

So a solo trip to the movies here, a little meet up with friends there, even accompanied by a camera roll full of baby pictures to sneak a peek at, can only do the mind, body & soul good.

Here’s to another year of changing, growing, learning, and a smell step towards self love with self care.

xo

 

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Just missing my baby & making a mental list of the errands I need to run tomorrow